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I’d thought I’d get a little naughty with the following excerpt from Shrouded in Darkness:

The scream slapped her awake. She jackknifed up in the bed. Blood pounded in her ears as she sat and listened to the silence. Then she realized that this time the cry hadn’t come from outside but downstairs. She scrambled from the bed and hit the cold wood floor running, almost banging into the side of her bedroom door on the way out. The night was black, illuminating nothing. With questing, outstretched hands, she found the stair’s handrail and fumbled down the steps. Breathing deeply, she rounded the stair post and slammed into something warm and very human.

She opened her mouth to scream.

“It’s me, Jake,” he said from the darkness, holding onto her arms to steady her.

She let out a long, shaky breath. “What was that?” she asked in a hushed voice. “You must have heard it. It sounded so awful.”

“It was your cat.”

“Marmaduke?”

“Yeah.”

“But I could have sworn it sounded more human than—”

“I stepped on his tail.” He cleared his throat. “Scared the hell out of both of us. He took off somewhere. Sorry about getting you out of bed.”

“I’m just glad I found out what it was. But what are you doing up?”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

Relaxing, she glanced up, only to be blinded by the night. Thick, black and total, it draped over Jake and everything around her. His hands, warm and strong, grasped her upper arms. She grew conscious of the coolness of the house, of the silk of her nightgown against her skin, but most importantly of Jake, of the deep woodsy scent of his after-shave and how his hands, minus the gloves, were now slowly sliding up and down her arms. Her toes curled beneath her. He smelled like what she envisioned a man should smell like. Desire lapped against her skin until it seeped through her flesh and took hold of her body.

He slid a hand up her arm and over a shoulder to cup her throat, while the other curled around her waist to press against the small of her back, inching her closer to the heat of his body. She met his lips halfway, opening her mouth beneath his. The kiss deepened, demanded and took. She raised a hand to feel his own against her throat. He had a long fingered, strong hand, the skin smooth and flawless over the tendons and knuckles. She touched his face, his neck, his shoulders. Against her palms, his skin was satin over hard muscle. He was all male, all power.

He hauled her closer, pressing her sensitized breasts against his chest as his tongue mated with hers. His desire thrust against the shallow hollow of her hips. The thick, hardness of him scorched through the material of her gown to her belly and turned her legs to liquid. She slid her hands over the sleek texture of his naked back, over the muscles and tendons, down across the indentation along his spine and lower.

She froze.

He was entirely, absolutely, completely naked, every male inch of him. She whimpered as her breath came out in short, shallow pants, and desire slammed against her, painful in its intensity.

Margot stiffened. Oh, God. Had she completely lost it? Where was her sanity, her morals? She hardly knew this man.

“No!” She dragged in a lungful of air. “This is all wrong!”

Before it was too late, Margot ripped out of his arms, stumbled up the stairs to her room, and slammed the door closed.

###

Grabbing the banister, Jake stepped onto the stairs.  Even the cold air against his bare skin couldn’t douse his raging desire. He could run after her and take her. She’d been just as hot, just as hungry. It wouldn’t take much to convince her to let him strip her naked, to touch, to stroke and kiss her until she was writhing and bucking beneath him, to make her come.

He stood under the cover of darkness, trembling, starving, hurting. It had been too damned long. Her skin had been soft, smooth. She’d smelled like heaven. Jake flexed his fingers. He’d finally buried his bare hands into her hair. The strands had felt exactly like he’d envisioned. Like silken water. He’d wanted to bury his face in their waves and drink in their essence.

Jake let her go. This time.

 

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